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Reedies win grants for peace and understanding

By Anna Mann on May 05, 2015 08:49 AM

Environmental studies-chemistry major Celebrity Nyikadzino ’17 won a $10,000 grant to help villagers in Zimbabwe lift themselves out of poverty.

Nine Reed students have won grants to pursue summer projects to promote peace and strengthen understanding.

Celebrity Nyikadzino ’17, an environmental studies-chemistry major, was selected for a Davis Projects for Peace for her project “A Step toward Hope: Education and Self Reliance.” Celebrity will be implementing the project this summer in Chivhu, her home village in Zimbabwe.

“I grew up with many talented kids by my side," she says. "Unfortunately, most of my friends had to drop out of school because they could not afford the cost of education.” Celebrity intends to use the $10,000 award to address poverty by teaching community members how to sew and also how to market and maintain a business using the finished products. Her goal is to create ways for families to have the means to return their children to school and to keep them there. “I also aim to bring my community together through cooperation in the project, and by creating a support group for sharing struggles and successes.”

Since 2007, Davis Projects for Peace has welcomed proposals from undergraduate students (including current seniors) for projects that they will implement during summer break. The projects judged to be the most promising and do-able are funded.

Reed is also proud to announce the winners of the McGill Lawrence Internship Award, which provides eight Reed students with an opportunity to complement academic studies through a summer internship in the public or nonprofit sectors. This fund, originally establish to help cultivate an environment of understanding and respect for multicultural issues at Reed, has grown annually from with contributions from the Reed student body and the college. At least 50% of the funds awarded go to support proposals that bring students in contact with ethnically and culturally diverse issues and populations. 


Kelli Collins ’15, history

Photo of Kelly Collins

Kelli will teach summer school at two Oregon Outreach campuses, McCoy Academy and Rosi Hinton, and will be developing curriculum and leading class trips. Oregon Outreach is a Portland­based nonprofit that provides alternative secondary education to economically disadvantaged youth. “As a first generation college student, I have a deep appreciation for the instrumentality of secondary and post­secondary education in helping low­income youth achieve upward mobility and access financial freedom,” says Kelli. “This experience will broaden my understanding of educational and economic disadvantage and help prepare me for a career in teaching within this demographic.”

Emmanuel Enemchukwu ’16, economics

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Emmanuel will be a monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) intern at Mercy Corps this summer. “I specifically chose an MEL internship because of my appreciation of data-driven decisions in my professional endeavors. Measuring a program’s results is generally a critical success factor toward achieving high quality results, and without data on their programs, it is difficult for Mercy Corps to determine projects that warrant replication, modification, expansion, and even an overhaul.” Emmanuel will contribute specifically to development programs in Nigeria and, more generally, in Africa.

Francisca Garfia ’17, anthropology

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In her role as an intern, Francisca will work for CAUSA—Oregon’s leading immigrant rights organization— to help as many people as possible to apply for either citizenship, or the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) initiatives. “I will guide them through the process, and hope to understand more about what it means to be a young undocumented immigrant torn between two cultures.” CAUSA, says Francisca, empowers and inspires communities and also nurtures futures Latino leaders. DACA provides an immigrant with an opportunity to apply for a work permit and to be exempt from deportation, says Francisca. “It benefits entire communities who no longer have to live in fear of being separated from their families.”

Sita Goetschius ’15, political science

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Sita will be a microtest intern at Mercy Corps Northwest in downtown Portland, and will conduct interviews with previous participants of the organization’s microloan and small business classes programs. “ The data I will collect about the impact of Mercy Corps’ programs is vital to the organization, as it provides a basis for self evaluation of their programs and data to assist the organization in applying for grants.” Mercy Corps Northwest targets Portland metro area entrepreneurs who have subprime credit scores and thus are unable to secure loans to start their businesses, says Sita. “By providing these financial resources, Mercy Corps Northwest helps breaks the cycle of poverty for hundreds of Portlanders every year.”

Olivia Kilgore ’16, sociology

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Olivia will conduct leadership and life skills seminars with youth in the Chicago area through summer program of the Youth Organizations Umbrella. “Y.O.U. was established in 1971 and has since then served nearly 18,000 youth in Evanston and Skokie, two large suburbs located just north of Chicago,” says Olivia. The program serves a racially diverse community and employs programming that targets students and families in low socioeconomic brackets. “As a sociology major concentrating my studies on stratification in society, this opportunity will provide me experience working with a nonprofit organization that serves communities that I hope to engage with in similar ways after Reed.” This fall, Olivia plans to share her experience with others at Reed and to give advice to those interested in nonprofit or youth development work.

Rosa Leal ’17, sociology

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Rosa is heading home this summer to be directly involved in documenting and participating in the continuation of the Civil Rights movement. “Chicago Freedom School works directly with youth, ages 14–17, to address ethnic minority disparity produced by the 1989 National Urban Revitalization Demonstration Program, which commissioned the Chicago Housing Authority’s 1999 Plan for Transformation,” says Rosa. “My goal is to assist the organization in youth empowerment through civic engagement. With nearly three quarters of Black and Latino youth believing that the legal system does not treat all groups equally, I will engage inner city kids through campaigning and civic participation. I will assist CFS in their Summer Civil Rights Leadership Institute, their workshop and training series, and two current youth led campaigns, Fair & Just Schools and Healthy Communities.” Rosa will also have the opportunity to connect with peers, activists, and important players in the Chicago public policy sphere.

Nicole Thompson ’16, political science-ICPS

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Nicole has been hired in the public affairs operation for the Consulate General in Frankfurt, and will do outreach work with them—from the facebook page to meeting with groups of students to talk about the United States, the consulate, and the State Department. “The role of the State Department abroad is to manage passports and visas, to take care of U.S. citizens, and to act as a liaison between the host country and the U.S., among other things. I will be helping this work to run smoothly.” Nicole has always been interested in international affairs, and accepted a State Department scholarship to live in Germany for a year before attending college. She plans to continue that education, to solidify her understanding of German, and to begin channeling her interests into a future career. “The State Department does important work around the world and I am thrilled to be a part of it for one summer.”

Josh Tsang ’18, environmental studies-chemistry

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Over the summer, Josh will be working with a Portland environmental nonprofit, We Love Clean Rivers to conduct water quality monitoring in rivers around Portland and to organize several clean­up events along those rivers. “WLCR helps combat water pollution and assists in raising the standard of water quality across Oregon by broadening community engagement with river restoration activities and increasing the recreational water­sports community’s understanding of threats to watershed health.” By working with WLCR’s team to both conduct scientific research and raise awareness for the local environment, Josh hopes to better understand the science and policy sides of environmental issues. Through this experience, Josh intends to apply what he’s learned in the classroom in the field, and to forge numerous connections with Portland’s leading environmental institutions. “Working in and around Portland, my work will directly benefit Reed and the greater Portland community by helping to preserve the cleanliness of the numerous rivers in Oregon.”